The Threat of Wildfires to Air Quality and Human Health

Photo by Malachi Brooks

Wildfires in America are becoming larger, more frequent, and more destructive, driven by climate change and existing land management practices. This is putting more people in danger, not only from fire itself, but also from exposure to smoke, which can travel thousands of miles and affect the health of millions of people. Our publications explore the increase in wildfire events and their impacts on human health. All are free to read or download.

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

The Chemistry of Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

Wildfires in America are becoming larger, more frequent, and more destructive, driven by climate change and existing land management practices. Many of these fires occur at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), areas where development and wildland areas overlap and which are increasingly at risk of devastating fires as communities continue to …[more]

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland fires pose a growing threat to air quality and human health. Fire is a natural part of many landscapes, but the extent of area burned and the severity of fires have been increasing, concurrent with human movement into previously uninhabited fire-prone areas and forest management practices that have increased fuel loads. These changes …[more]

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Individuals in the United States and Americans abroad are exposed to inhalation hazards from a variety of sources, and these hazards can have both short- and long-term adverse effects on health. For example, exposure to wildfire smoke, which contains particulate matter and toxic chemicals, can lead to respiratory problems, increased risk for …[more]

Exploring Disaster Human Services for Children and Youth: From Hurricane Katrina to the Paradise Wildfires: Proceedings of a Workshop Series

Exploring Disaster Human Services for Children and Youth: From Hurricane Katrina to the Paradise Wildfires: Proceedings of a Workshop Series

To explore issues related to the effects of disasters on children and youth and lessons learned from experiences during previous disasters, the virtual workshop From Hurricane Katrina to Paradise Wildfires, Exploring Themes in Disaster Human Services was convened on July 22 and 23, 2020, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and …[more]

Leveraging Advances in Remote Geospatial Technologies to Inform Precision Environmental Health Decisions: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Leveraging Advances in Remote Geospatial Technologies to Inform Precision Environmental Health Decisions: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Leveraging Advances in Remote Geospatial Technologies to Inform Precision Environmental Health Decisions, a virtual workshop held on April 14-15, 2021, explored how advances in geospatial technologies can inform precision environmental health, the targeted public health interventions that reach the right populations at the right time. The …[more]

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantial increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildlands and climate experts expect these trends to continue and quite likely to worsen in coming years. Wildfires and other disasters can be particularly devastating for vulnerable communities. …[more]

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management: Proceedings of a Workshop

Although ecosystems, humans, and fire have coexisted for millennia, changes in geology, ecology, hydrology, and climate as well as sociocultural, regulatory, and economic factors have converged to make wildland fire management exceptionally challenging for U.S. federal, state, and local authorities. Given the mounting, unsustainable costs and …[more]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future …[more]

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

This book presents a summary of the Workshop on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and Research Gaps, held April 13 and 14, 2010, in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the National Research Council’s Committee on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and …[more]

Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape

Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape

Of all the outputs of forests, water may be the most important. Streamflow from forests provides two-thirds of the nation’s clean water supply. Removing forest cover accelerates the rate that precipitation becomes streamflow; therefore, in some areas, cutting trees causes a temporary increase in the volume of …[more]

Resources to Understand and Respond to Impacts of Flood Events

Credit: Chris Gallaher

Flooding causes significant loss of life, incurs tens of billions of dollars in property damage, adversely affects millions of people, and delivers a heavy toll on the economic well-being of both small communities and major metropolitan areas. The costs and impacts of flooding are growing more severe as development and population growth continue and as sea level rises and heavy precipitation events become more frequent due to climate change. Our publications explore the causes and consequences of heavy precipitation events and ways that we can prepare for and respond to these emergencies.

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Flooding is the natural hazard with the greatest economic and social impact in the United States, and these impacts are becoming more severe over time. Catastrophic flooding from recent hurricanes, including Superstorm Sandy in New York (2012) and Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017), caused billions of dollars in property damage, adversely …[more]

Motivating Local Climate Adaptation and Strengthening Resilience: Making Local Data Trusted, Useful, and Used

Motivating Local Climate Adaptation and Strengthening Resilience: Making Local Data Trusted, Useful, and Used

Local communities are already experiencing dire effects caused by climate change that are expected to increase in frequency, intensity, duration, and type. Public concern about climate-related challenges is increasing, available information and resources on climate risks are expanding, and cities across the country and the globe are developing …[more]

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Cities have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth in the last decade. More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, with the U.S. percentage at 80 percent. Cities have captured more than 80 percent of the globe’s economic activity and offered social mobility and economic prosperity to millions by clustering creative, …[more]

Practices for Integrated Flood Prediction and Response Systems

Practices for Integrated Flood Prediction and Response Systems

State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other state and local agencies have implemented integrated flood warning and response systems to mitigate the effects of floods. These systems are critical for staging personnel, deciding when to close roads, inspecting bridges, tracking floods throughout the state, and planning …[more]

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 1: A Guide

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 1: A Guide

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web Only Document 70: Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 1: A Guide offers practices for transit systems of all sizes to absorb the impacts of disaster, recover quickly, and return rapidly to providing the services that customers rely on to meet …[more]

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Following a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, that revealed shortcomings in the nation’s ability to effectively alert populations at risk, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act in 2006. Today, new technologies such as smart phones and social media platforms offer new ways to communicate …[more]

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 2: Research Overview

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 2: Research Overview

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web Only Document 70: Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 2: Research Overview summarizes elements of the research effort that offers practices for transit systems of all sizes to absorb the impacts of disaster, recover quickly, and return rapidly …[more]

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 3: Literature Review and Case Studies

Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 3: Literature Review and Case Studies

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web Only Document 70: Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters, Volume 3: Literature Review and Case Studies includes appendicies that outline the literature reviewed and 17 case studies that explore how transit agencies absorb the impacts of disaster, recover …[more]

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplain

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplain

Floods take a heavy toll on society, costing lives, damaging buildings and property, disrupting livelihoods, and sometimes necessitating federal disaster relief, which has risen to record levels in recent years. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to reduce the flood risk to individuals and their reliance on federal …[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private …[more]

Urban Meteorology: Forecasting, Monitoring, and Meeting Users' Needs

Urban Meteorology: Forecasting, Monitoring, and Meeting Users’ Needs

According to the United Nations, three out of five people will be living in cities worldwide by the year 2030. The United States continues to experience urbanization with its vast urban corridors on the east and west coasts. Although urban weather is driven by large synoptic and meso-scale features, weather events unique to the urban …[more]

Urban Stormwater Management in the United States

Urban Stormwater Management in the United States

The rapid conversion of land to urban and suburban areas has profoundly altered how water flows during and following storm events, putting higher volumes of water and more pollutants into the nation’s rivers, lakes, and estuaries. These changes have degraded water quality and habitat in virtually every urban stream system. The Clean Water Act …[more]

When Weather Matters: Science and Services to Meet Critical Societal Needs

When Weather Matters: Science and Services to Meet Critical Societal Needs

The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to realize its prediction potential; as a result, the nation is not mitigating weather …[more]

Flash Flood Forecasting Over Complex Terrain: With an Assessment of the Sulphur Mountain NEXRAD in Southern California

Flash Flood Forecasting Over Complex Terrain: With an Assessment of the Sulphur Mountain NEXRAD in Southern California

The nation’s network of more than 130 Next Generation Radars (NEXRADs) is used to detect wind and precipitation to help National Weather Service forecasters monitor and predict flash floods and other storms. This book assesses the performance of the Sulphur Mountain NEXRAD in Southern California, which has been scrutinized for its ability to …[more]

Science and Environmental Health in the Great Indoors

Americans spend 90 percent of their lives indoors. While our homes, schools, and other commercial buildings protect us from the outside elements, they also expose us to indoor contaminants, including radon, indoor asthma triggers, volatile organic compounds, biological contaminants, and particulate matter. Our titles explore the state of the science on indoor exposure and health impacts; interventions to reduce risks; and practical mitigation solutions.

Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up

Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up

In thousands of communities across the United States, drinking water is contaminated with chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are used in a wide range of products, such as non-stick cookware, water and stain repellent fabrics, and fire-fighting foam, because they have properties that repel oil and …[more]

Why Indoor Chemistry Matters

Why Indoor Chemistry Matters

People spend the vast majority of their time inside their homes and other indoor environments where they are exposed to a wide range of chemicals from building materials, furnishings, occupants, cooking, consumer products, and other sources. Despite research to date, very little is known about how exposures to indoor chemicals across complex …[more]

Indoor Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Practical Mitigation Approaches: Proceedings of a Workshop

Indoor Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Practical Mitigation Approaches: Proceedings of a Workshop

Overwhelming evidence exists that exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with a range of short-term and chronic health impacts, including asthma exacerbation, acute and chronic bronchitis, heart attacks, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and premature death, with the burden of these health effects …[more]

Management of Legionella in Water Systems

Management of Legionella in Water Systems

Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacterium, is the leading cause of reported waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Legionella occur naturally in water from many different environmental sources, but grow rapidly in the warm, stagnant conditions that can be found in engineered water systems …[more]

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings

People’s desire to understand the environments in which they live is a natural one. People spend most of their time in spaces and structures designed, built, and managed by humans, and it is estimated that people in developed countries now spend 90 percent of their lives indoors. As people move from homes to workplaces, traveling in cars and …[more]

Health Risks of Indoor Exposure to Particulate Matter: Workshop Summary

Health Risks of Indoor Exposure to Particulate Matter: Workshop Summary

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines PM as a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets comprising a number of components, including “acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, soil or dust particles, and allergens (such as fragments of pollen and mold spores)”. The health effects of …[more]

Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health

Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health

The indoor environment affects occupants’ health and comfort. Poor environmental conditions and indoor contaminants are estimated to cost the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars a year in exacerbation of illnesses like asthma, allergic symptoms, and subsequent lost productivity. Climate change has the potential to affect the indoor …[more]

Damp Indoor Spaces and Health

Damp Indoor Spaces and Health

Almost all homes, apartments, and commercial buildings will experience leaks, flooding, or other forms of excessive indoor dampness at some point. Not only is excessive dampness a health problem by itself, it also contributes to several other potentially problematic types of situations. Molds and other microbial agents favor damp indoor …[more]

Humans and Marine Ecosystems

The ocean is central to the health of the planet and the well-being of human societies – sustaining livelihoods and supporting abundant and diverse marine life and ecosystems. Human activity threatens marine ecosystems through relentless overfishing, habitat disruption, and pollution. Our publications explore the negative impacts of human interaction and science and innovation to guide efforts to defend and sustain these valuable resources.

Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and Implications for Sunscreen Usage and Human Health

Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and Implications for Sunscreen Usage and Human Health

Regular use of sunscreens has been shown to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer, and slow photoaging of skin. Sunscreens can rinse off into water where people are swimming or wading, and can also enter bodies of water through wastewater such as from bathing or showering. As a result, the …[more]

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

An estimated 8 million metric tons (MMT) of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean each year – the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute. Plastic waste is now found in almost every marine habitat, from the ocean surface to deep sea sediments to the …[more]

Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits

Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits

Marine recreational fishing is a popular activity enjoyed by more than 9 million Americans annually and is a driver of the American ocean-or blue-economy. To ensure that fish populations are not overexploited, the NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) monitors …[more]

The Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs in Mixed-Use Fisheries

The Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs in Mixed-Use Fisheries

A central goal of U.S. fisheries management is to control the exploitation of fish populations so that fisheries remain biologically productive, economically valuable, and socially equitable. Although the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act led to many improvements, a number …[more]

Biodiversity at Risk: Today's Choices Matter

Biodiversity at Risk: Today’s Choices Matter

A growing body of evidence has sounded the alarm that the biodiversity that supports and sustains life on Earth is at risk. Habitat destruction, resource exploitation, and climate change are among the many stressors that have put 1 million species under threat of extinction and sharply reduced …[more]

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have threatened ocean ecosystems globally for decades. In the …[more]

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reef declines have been recorded for all major tropical ocean basins since the 1980s, averaging approximately 30-50% reductions in reef cover globally. These losses are a result of numerous problems, including habitat destruction, pollution, overfishing, disease, and climate change. …[more]

Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program

Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for collecting information on marine recreational angling. It does so principally through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), a survey program that consists …[more]

Approaches to Understanding the Cumulative Effects of Stressors on Marine Mammals

Approaches to Understanding the Cumulative Effects of Stressors on Marine Mammals

Marine mammals face a large array of stressors, including loss of habitat, chemical and noise pollution, and bycatch in fishing, which alone kills hundreds of thousands of marine mammals per year globally. To discern the factors contributing to population trends, scientists must consider the …[more]

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health discusses the connection of ecosystem services and human health. This report looks at the state of the science of the role of oceans in ensuring human health and identifies gaps and …[more]

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance

All six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as endangered or threatened, but the exact population sizes of these species are unknown due to a lack of key information regarding birth and survival rates. The U.S. Endangered Species Act prohibits the hunting of sea turtles and …[more]

Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century

Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century

Marine environments support the livelihoods, economies, and quality of life for communities around the world. But growth of coastal populations and increasing demands on marine resources are putting the future of ocean and coastal resources at risk through impacts such as overfishing, wetland …[more]

Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods

Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods

Recreational fishing in the United States is an important social and economic component of many marine fisheries, with an estimated 14 million anglers making almost 82 million fishing trips in 2004. Although each individual angler typically harvests a small number of fish, collectively these sport …[more]

Marine Mammal Populations and Ocean Noise: Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effects

Marine Mammal Populations and Ocean Noise: Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effects

Attention has been drawn to the subject of how ocean noise affects marine mammals by a series of marine mammal strandings, lawsuits, and legislative hearings, and most recently, the report from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. One way to assess the impact of ocean noise is to consider …[more]

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is essential to consider both the value of …[more]

Ocean Noise and Marine Mammals

Ocean Noise and Marine Mammals

For the 119 species of marine mammals, as well as for some other aquatic animals, sound is the primary means of learning about the environment and of communicating, navigating, and foraging. The possibility that human-generated noise could harm marine mammals or significantly interfere with their …[more]

Decline of the Steller Sea Lion in Alaskan Waters: Untangling Food Webs and Fishing Nets

Decline of the Steller Sea Lion in Alaskan Waters: Untangling Food Webs and Fishing Nets [more]

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury – Causes, Consequences, and Care

In the United States, almost 5 million people are evaluated in emergency departments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Over the past several decades, awareness of the magnitude and consequences of TBI has increased, particularly among athletes and military service members, with new processes emerging for screening and management. Our titles explore the causes and consequences of TBI, and opportunities to prevent injury and improve treatment. As always, all are free to download.

Traumatic Brain Injury: A Roadmap for Accelerating Progress

Traumatic Brain Injury: A Roadmap for Accelerating Progress

Every community is affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI). Causes as diverse as falls, sports injuries, vehicle collisions, domestic violence, and military incidents can result in injuries across a spectrum of severity and age groups. Just as the many causes of TBI and the people who …[more]

Sex Differences in Brain Disorders: Emerging Transcriptomic Evidence: Proceedings of a Workshop

Sex Differences in Brain Disorders: Emerging Transcriptomic Evidence: Proceedings of a Workshop

Accumulating evidence gathered over the past three decades has demonstrated a biological basis for differences between men and women with respect to clinical features and treatment responses to several neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative disorders. Dramatic sex …[more]

Brain Health Across the Life Span: Proceedings of a Workshop

Brain Health Across the Life Span: Proceedings of a Workshop

Brain health affects Americans across all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. Enriching the body of scientific knowledge around brain health and cognitive ability has the potential to improve quality of life and longevity for many millions of Americans and their families. The Centers for …[more]

Evaluation of the Disability Determination Process for Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans

Evaluation of the Disability Determination Process for Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provides disability compensation to veterans with a service-connected injury, and to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a veteran must submit a claim or have a claim submitted on his or her behalf. …[more]

Developing Multimodal Therapies for Brain Disorders: Proceedings of a Workshop

Developing Multimodal Therapies for Brain Disorders: Proceedings of a Workshop

Multimodal therapy approaches that combine interventions aimed at different aspects of disease are emerging as potential—and perhaps essential—ways to enhance clinical outcomes for patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders. In order to examine the general principles underlying …[more]

Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets

Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets

Combat helmets have evolved considerably over the years from those used in World War I to today’s Advanced Combat Helmet. One of the key advances was the development of aramid fibers in the 1960s, which led to today’s Kevlar-based helmets. The Department of Defense is continuing to invest in …[more]

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Model Study Protocols and Frameworks to Advance the State of the Science: Workshop Summary

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Model Study Protocols and Frameworks to Advance the State of the Science: Workshop Summary

In October 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the Evidence, assessing the published evidence for the effectiveness of using cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) to treat people with traumatic brain …[more]

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the Evidence

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the Evidence

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect 10 million people worldwide. It is considered the “signature wound” of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injuries result from a bump or blow to the head, or from external forces that cause the brain to move within the head, such as whiplash or …[more]

Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military Personnel

Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military Personnel

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for up to one-third of combat-related injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to some estimates. TBI is also a major problem among civilians, especially those who engage in certain sports. At the request of the Department of Defense, the IOM examined the …[more]

Systems Engineering to Improve Traumatic Brain Injury Care in the Military Health System: Workshop Summary

Systems Engineering to Improve Traumatic Brain Injury Care in the Military Health System: Workshop Summary

This book makes a strong case for taking advantage of the best of two disciplines–health care and operational systems engineering (a combination of science and mathematics to describe, analyze, plan, design, and integrate systems with complex interactions among people, processes, materials, …[more]

Gulf War and Health: Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

Gulf War and Health: Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

The seventh in a series of congressionally mandated reports on Gulf War veterans health, this volume evaluates traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its association with long-term health affects.

That many returning veterans have TBI will likely mean long-term challenges for them and their …[more]

Evaluating the HRSA Traumatic Brain Injury Program

Evaluating the HRSA Traumatic Brain Injury Program [more]

Is Soccer Bad for Children's Heads?: Summary of the IOM Workshop on Neuropsychological Consequences of Head Impact in Youth Soccer

Is Soccer Bad for Children’s Heads?: Summary of the IOM Workshop on Neuropsychological Consequences of Head Impact in Youth Soccer

To explore whether soccer playing puts youths at risk for lasting brain damage, the Institute of Medicine brought together experts in head injury, sports medicine, pediatrics, and bioengineering. In a workshop entitled “Youth Soccer: Neuropsychological Consequences of Head Impact in Sports,” …[more]

Exploring the Ocean: Resources to Guide Research

Courtesy of NOAA

The ocean plays a vital role in Earth’s weather, temperature, and the food chain for of humans and other organisms. Research to understand how climate change is impacting the ocean and its abundant and diverse ecosystems is critical to solving problems caused by human interaction with this valuable resource. Our publications explore research needs and opportunities to further our knowledge. As always, all are free to read or download.

Cross-Cutting Themes for U.S. Contributions to the UN Ocean Decade

Cross-Cutting Themes for U.S. Contributions to the UN Ocean Decade

The ocean is central to the health of the planet and the well-being of human societies, but ongoing depletion, disruption, and pollution threaten its future. The United Nations proclaimed 2021-2030 the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UN Ocean Decade) in recognition of the need to sustainably manage the Ocean. U.S. …[more]

Leveraging Commercial Space for Earth and Ocean Remote Sensing

Leveraging Commercial Space for Earth and Ocean Remote Sensing

Within the past decade an ever-growing number of New Space organizations have emerged that are unencumbered by legacy practices and constraints. By reimagining, creating, and continuously improving SmallSat space technology a new and growing space ecosystem is now in place that is capable of serving a broad stakeholder community of both …[more]

Identifying New Community-Driven Science Themes for NSF's Support of Paleoclimate Research: Proceedings of a Workshop

Identifying New Community-Driven Science Themes for NSF’s Support of Paleoclimate Research: Proceedings of a Workshop

Sediments, ice, corals, and trees are just some of the natural storehouses of information that help tell the complicated history of Earth’s climate. Paleoclimate researchers use these “proxies,” in combination with numerical models, to gain understanding of the magnitudes, rates, and drivers of past climate variability with the goal of …[more]

Attributes of a First-in-Class Environmental Program: A Letter Report Prepared for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Attributes of a First-in-Class Environmental Program: A Letter Report Prepared for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages the energy and mineral resources on the outer continental shelf. BOEM’s environmental program, by producing environmental studies and conducting environmental assessments, ensures that environmental protection is a critical element of BOEM’s decision making. This report addresses BOEM’s …[more]

Mid-Term Assessment of Progress on the 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

Mid-Term Assessment of Progress on the 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

The Antarctic’s unique environment and position on the globe make it a prime location to gain insights into how Earth and the universe operate. This report assesses National Science Foundation (NSF) progress in addressing three priority research areas identified in a 2015 National Academies report: (1) understanding the linkages between ice …[more]

A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration

A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration

As of 2021, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached historically unprecedented levels, higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years. Worldwide efforts to reduce emissions by creating a more efficient, carbon-free energy system may not be enough to stabilize the climate and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Carbon dioxide …[more]

Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation

Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a key role over the past several decades in advancing understanding of Earth’s systems by funding research on atmospheric, ocean, hydrologic, geologic, polar, ecosystem, social, and engineering-related processes. Today, however, those systems are being driven like never before by human …[more]

Discovering the Deep Blue Sea: Research, Innovation, Social Engagement

Discovering the Deep Blue Sea: Research, Innovation, Social Engagement

The 14th annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI), “Discovering the Deep Blue Sea: Research, Innovation, and Social Engagement”, brought together 170 marine scientists, professional artists, engineers, biomedical researchers, oceanographers, music professors, and undergraduate design students. The attendees collaborated to …[more]

Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth's Climate

Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth’s Climate

The ocean is an integral component of the Earth’s climate system. It covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface and acts as its primary reservoir of heat and carbon, absorbing over 90% of the surplus heat and about 30% of the carbon dioxide associated with human activities, and receiving close to 100% of fresh water lost from land ice.

With …[more]

Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop

Antarctic Sea Ice Variability in the Southern Ocean-Climate System: Proceedings of a Workshop

The sea ice surrounding Antarctica has increased in extent and concentration from the late 1970s, when satellite-based measurements began, until 2015. Although this increasing trend is modest, it is surprising given the overall warming of the global climate and the region. Indeed, climate models, which incorporate our best understanding of the …[more]

Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop

Frontiers in Decadal Climate Variability: Proceedings of a Workshop

Many factors contribute to variability in Earth’s climate on a range of timescales, from seasons to decades. Natural climate variability arises from two different sources: (1) internal variability from interactions among components of the climate system, for example, between the ocean and the atmosphere, and (2) natural external forcings, …[more]

A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research has produced a wide array of important and exciting scientific advances. Spanning oceanography to tectonics, microbiology to astrophysics, the extreme Antarctic environment provides unique opportunities to expand our knowledge about how our planet works and even the very origins of the universe. …[more]

Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences

Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences

Ocean science connects a global community of scientists in many disciplines – physics, chemistry, biology, geology and geophysics. New observational and computational technologies are transforming the ability of scientists to study the global ocean with a more integrated and dynamic approach. This enhanced understanding of the ocean is becoming …[more]

Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century

Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century

For over a century, field stations have been important entryways for scientists to study and make important discoveries about the natural world. They are centers of research, conservation, education, and public outreach, often embedded in natural environments that range from remote to densely populated urban locations. Because they lack …[more]

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop

The Arctic has been undergoing significant changes in recent years. Average temperatures are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The extent and thickness of sea ice is rapidly declining. Such changes may have an impact on atmospheric conditions outside the region. Several hypotheses for how Arctic warming may be …[more]

Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and Challenges

Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and Challenges

Through direct exploration of the subseafloor, U.S.-supported scientific ocean drilling programs have significantly contributed to a broad range of scientific accomplishments in Earth science disciplines, shaping understanding of Earth systems and enabling new fields of inquiry. Scientific Ocean Drilling: Accomplishments and …[more]

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean remains one of the world’s last frontiers. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on Earth. While it is challenging to live and work in this extreme environment, this …[more]

Critical Infrastructure for Ocean Research and Societal Needs in 2030

Critical Infrastructure for Ocean Research and Societal Needs in 2030

The United States has jurisdiction over 3.4 million square miles of ocean in its exclusive economic zone, a size exceeding the combined land area of the 50 states. This expansive marine area represents a prime national domain for activities such as maritime transportation, national security, energy and mineral extraction, fisheries and …[more]

Oceanography in 2025: Proceedings of a Workshop

Oceanography in 2025: Proceedings of a Workshop

On January 8 and 9, 2009, the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, in response to a request from the Office of Naval Research, hosted the “Oceanography in 2025” workshop. The goal of the workshop was to bring together scientists, engineers, and technologists to explore future directions in oceanography, with an emphasis on …[more]

Resources that Explore the Impacts and Challenges of Drought

Warmer temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns are expected to exacerbate drought conditions that already pose serious challenges for agricultural and municipal water managers in the U.S. West and other places. The effects of drought are far-reaching, beyond the local affected areas. Communities far from drought centers experience smoke from wildfires, changes in pricing and availability of produce, and the loss – temporary or permanent – of priceless natural resources. Our publications explore impacts of drought on transportation, environmental effects, and ways to adapt to this “new normal”. As always, all are free to read online or download.

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop

Wildland fires pose a growing threat to air quality and human health. Fire is a natural part of many landscapes, but the extent of area burned and the severity of fires have been increasing, concurrent with human movement into previously uninhabited fire-prone areas and forest management …[more]

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

Individuals in the United States and Americans abroad are exposed to inhalation hazards from a variety of sources, and these hazards can have both short- and long-term adverse effects on health. For example, exposure to wildfire smoke, which contains particulate matter and toxic chemicals, can …[more]

Investing in Transportation Resilience: A Framework for Informed Choices

Investing in Transportation Resilience: A Framework for Informed Choices

Significant progress has been made over the last decade in integrating resilience criteria into transportation decision-making. A compelling case remains for investing in making transportation projects more resilient in the face of increasing and intensifying storms, floods, droughts, and other …[more]

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop

California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantial increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildlands and climate experts expect these trends to continue and quite likely to worsen in coming years. Wildfires and other disasters can be …[more]

Groundwater Recharge and Flow: Approaches and Challenges for Monitoring and Modeling Using Remotely Sensed Data: Proceedings of a Workshop

Groundwater Recharge and Flow: Approaches and Challenges for Monitoring and Modeling Using Remotely Sensed Data: Proceedings of a Workshop

Water of appropriate quantity and quality is essential for drinking, sanitation, and food, energy, and industrial production for any society and is derived for most needs from surface- or groundwater sources. Studies suggest that groundwater use in irrigation globally is increasing in total …[more]

Enhancing Urban Sustainability with Data, Modeling, and Simulation: Proceedings of a Workshop

Enhancing Urban Sustainability with Data, Modeling, and Simulation: Proceedings of a Workshop

On January 30-31, 2019 the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, in collaboration with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, convened a workshop in Washington, D.C. to explore the frontiers of mathematics and data science …[more]

Making Climate Assessments Work: Learning from California and Other Subnational Climate Assessments: Proceedings of a Workshop

Making Climate Assessments Work: Learning from California and Other Subnational Climate Assessments: Proceedings of a Workshop

Climate assessment activities are increasingly driven by subnational organizations—city, county, and state governments; utilities and private companies; and stakeholder groups and engaged publics—trying to better serve their constituents, customers, and members by understanding and preparing …[more]

Advancing Sustainability of U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Drylands: Proceedings of a Workshop

Advancing Sustainability of U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Drylands: Proceedings of a Workshop

The drylands region shared by the United States and Mexico currently faces multiple sustainability challenges at the intersection of the human and natural systems. Warming and drying conditions threaten surface water and groundwater availability, disrupt land- and marine-based livelihood …[more]

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations

The American chestnut, whitebark pine, and several species of ash in the eastern United States are just a few of the North American tree species that have been functionally lost or are in jeopardy of being lost due to outbreaks of pathogens and insect pests. New pressures in this century are …[more]

Review of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan: Report 3

Review of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan: Report 3

The Edwards Aquifer in south-central Texas is the primary source of water for one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, San Antonio, and it also supplies irrigation water to thousands of farmers and livestock operators. It is also the source water for several springs and rivers, …[more]

Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area

Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area

Solving problems related to use of water resources will be of paramount importance in coming decades as increasing pressure from growing populations, climate change, extreme weather, and aging water-related infrastructure threaten water availability and quality.

The Water Mission Area …[more]

Protecting the Health and Well-Being of Communities in a Changing Climate: Proceedings of a Workshop

Protecting the Health and Well-Being of Communities in a Changing Climate: Proceedings of a Workshop

On March 13, 2017, the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement jointly convened a 1-day public workshop in Washington, DC, to explore potential strategies for public health, environmental health, health care, and …[more]

Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change

Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change

Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events summarizes a symposium held June 16–17, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The fourth annual symposium promotes common understanding, efficiencies, and trans-Atlantic cooperation within the international transportation …[more]

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Cities have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth in the last decade. More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, with the U.S. percentage at 80 percent. Cities have captured more than 80 percent of the globe’s economic activity and offered social mobility and economic …[more]

Water Efficiency Management Strategies for Airports

Water Efficiency Management Strategies for Airports

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 154: Water Efficiency Management Strategies for Airports provides a guidebook and tools that airport operators can use to design and institute a water efficiency management program specific to their facility. The report enables airport …[more]

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits

Chronic and episodic water shortages are becoming common in many regions of the United States, and population growth in water-scarce regions further compounds the challenges. Increasingly, alternative water sources such as graywater-untreated wastewater that does not include water from the …[more]

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of …[more]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and …[more]

Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability

Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability

Recent studies of past climate and streamflow conditions have broadened understanding of long-term water availability in the Colorado River, revealing many periods when streamflow was lower than at any time in the past 100 years of recorded flows. That information, along with two important …[more]

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is essential to consider both the value of …[more]

Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta

Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta

Extensively modified over the last century and a half, California’s San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary remains biologically diverse and functions as a central element in California’s water supply system. Uncertainties about the future, actions taken under the federal Endangered Species Act …[more]

Understanding Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation's Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

Understanding Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

In communities all around the world, water supplies are coming under increasing pressure as population growth, climate change, pollution, and changes in land use affect water quantity and quality. To address existing and anticipated water shortages, many communities are working to increase water …[more]

Resources to Promote Independence and Equity for People with Disabilities

Businesswoman in wheelchair leading group discussion in creative office

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. To recognize this landmark event, here’s a list of our recent titles that provide guidelines to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities. As always, all are free to read online or download.

Technical Feasibility of a Wheelchair Securement Concept for Airline Travel: A Preliminary Assessment

Technical Feasibility of a Wheelchair Securement Concept for Airline Travel: A Preliminary Assessment

There appear to be, in this preliminary assessment, no formidable issues that present design and engineering challenges for installing in-cabin wheelchair securement systems in airplanes. While equipping enough airplanes with securement systems to provide meaningful levels of airline service …[more]

Opportunities for Improving Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities

Opportunities for Improving Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities

Although the general public in the United States assumes children to be generally healthy and thriving, a substantial and growing number of children have at least one chronic health condition. Many of these conditions are associated with disabilities and interfere regularly with children’s …[more]

Transit Agency Relationships and Initiatives to Improve Bus Stops and Pedestrian Access

Transit Agency Relationships and Initiatives to Improve Bus Stops and Pedestrian Access

In the United States, many transit stops are not adequate: bus stops that are just a signpost on a busy road, bus stops with broken sidewalks and/or pathway obstructions, bus stops with a lack of seating, and bus stops clearly not accessible to people with disabilities. For many bus riders, the …[more]

Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities

Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities

The airport industry has adopted specific design codes in response to state and federal regulatory requirements—including the Americans with Disabilities Act—to accommodate employees and travelers with disabilities. These design codes include general architectural guidelines and technology …[more]

Artificial Intelligence Applications for Older Adults and People with Disabilities: Balancing Safety and Autonomy: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Artificial Intelligence Applications for Older Adults and People with Disabilities: Balancing Safety and Autonomy: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

On October 24, 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop titled Artificial Intel¬ligence Applications for Older Adults and People with Disabilities: Balancing Safety and Autonomy. This workshop examined the state of the art and knowledge about …[more]

Functional Assessment for Adults with Disabilities

Functional Assessment for Adults with Disabilities

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. To receive SSDI or SSI disability benefits, an individual must meet the statutory definition of disability, which is …[more]

Developing Affordable and Accessible Community-Based Housing for Vulnerable Adults: Proceedings of a Workshop

Developing Affordable and Accessible Community-Based Housing for Vulnerable Adults: Proceedings of a Workshop

Accessible and affordable housing can enable community living, maximize independence, and promote health for vulnerable populations. However, the United States faces a shortage of affordable and accessible housing for low-income older adults and individuals living with disabilities. This …[more]

People Living with Disabilities: Health Equity, Health Disparities, and Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

People Living with Disabilities: Health Equity, Health Disparities, and Health Literacy: Proceedings of a Workshop

Poor health literacy has many negative consequences for achieving the quadruple aim of better care, improving the health of the community and the population, providing affordable care, and improving the work life of health care providers, and those consequences disproportionately affect those …[more]

Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop

Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop

As the demographics of the United States shift toward a population that is made up of an increasing percentage of older adults and people with disabilities, the workforce that supports and enables these individuals is also shifting to meet the demands of this population. For many older adults …[more]

Ensuring Quality and Accessible Care for Children with Disabilities and Complex Health and Educational Needs: Proceedings of a Workshop

Ensuring Quality and Accessible Care for Children with Disabilities and Complex Health and Educational Needs: Proceedings of a Workshop

Children with disabilities and complex medical and educational needs present a special challenge for policy makers and practitioners. These children exhibit tremendous heterogeneity in their conditions and needs, requiring a varied array of services to meet those needs. Uneven public and …[more]

Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities

Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 163: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities is designed to help transit agencies fulfill the primary goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by making mainstream …[more]

Policy and Research Needs to Maximize Independence and Support Community Living: Workshop Summary

Policy and Research Needs to Maximize Independence and Support Community Living: Workshop Summary

Living independently and participating in one’s community are priorities for many people. In many regions across the United States, there are programs that support and enable people with disabilities and older adults to live where they choose and with whom they choose and to participate fully …[more]

Mental Disorders and Disabilities Among Low-Income Children

Mental Disorders and Disabilities Among Low-Income Children

Children living in poverty are more likely to have mental health problems, and their conditions are more likely to be severe. Of the approximately 1.3 million children who were recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits in 2013, about 50% were disabled primarily due to …[more]

Explore the Future of Space Research

Photo credit: NASA

Earlier this week, NASA released amazing images from the James Webb Space Telescope to the public, allowing us all to see galaxies, stars, and nebulae as they were about 13 billion years ago. As we continue to explore our universe, what more will we learn? To guide the future of space research, the Space Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides independent, authoritative advice to NASA and other stakeholders. The publications below result from that work. As always, they are free to read online or download.

Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032

Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032

The next decade of planetary science and astrobiology holds tremendous promise. New research will expand our understanding of our solar system’s origins, how planets form and evolve, under what conditions life can survive, and where to find potentially habitable environments in our solar system …[more]

Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions

Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions

Fostering diverse and inclusive teams that are highly skilled, innovative, and productive is critical for maintaining U.S. leadership in space exploration. In recent years, NASA has taken steps to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in their workforce by releasing its …[more]

Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s

Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s

We live in a time of extraordinary discovery and progress in astronomy and astrophysics. The next decade will transform our understanding of the universe and humanity’s place in it. Every decade the U.S. agencies that provide primary federal funding for astronomy and astrophysics request a …[more]

Progress Toward Implementation of the 2013 Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics: A Midterm Assessment

Progress Toward Implementation of the 2013 Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics: A Midterm Assessment

The 2013 report Solar and Space Physics; A Science for a Technological Society outlined a program of basic and applied research for the period 2013-2022. This publication describes the most significant scientific discoveries, technical advances, and relevant programmatic changes in solar …[more]

Finding Hazardous Asteroids Using Infrared and Visible Wavelength Telescopes

Finding Hazardous Asteroids Using Infrared and Visible Wavelength Telescopes

Near Earth objects (NEOs) have the potential to cause significant damage on Earth. In December 2018, an asteroid exploded in the upper atmosphere over the Bering Sea (western Pacific Ocean) with the explosive force of nearly 10 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. While the frequency of NEO impacts …[more]

Continuous Improvement of NASA's Innovation Ecosystem: Proceedings of a Workshop

Continuous Improvement of NASA’s Innovation Ecosystem: Proceedings of a Workshop

On November 29-30, 2018, in Washington, D.C., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held the Workshop on the Continuous Improvement of NASA’s Innovation Ecosystem. The workshop was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of the Chief …[more]

Exoplanet Science Strategy

Exoplanet Science Strategy

The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on by the avalanche of unexpected discoveries. …[more]

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. It is an inherently interdisciplinary field that encompasses astronomy, biology, geology, heliophysics, and planetary science, including complementary laboratory activities and field studies …[more]

The Value of Mentorship in Supporting the Future of STEMM

Scientist Working in The Laboratory

Effective mentoring relationships have an overall positive effect on academic achievement, retention, and degree attainment, as well as on career success and satisfaction. Mentored students pursue graduate study more frequently than students without mentoring support and are more likely to stay in STEMM. Mentorship can also increase access, equity, and inclusion in STEMM. Our reports communicate the importance of mentorship and provide best practices for effective mentorship that supports students pursuing STEMM degrees. As always, they are free to read or download.

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

Mentorship is a catalyst capable of unleashing one’s potential for discovery, curiosity, and participation in STEMM and subsequently improving the training environment in which that STEMM potential is fostered. Mentoring relationships provide developmental spaces in which students’ STEMM skills …[more]

Mentoring of Black Graduate and Medical Students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Early-Career Faculty in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Proceedings of a Workshop

Mentoring of Black Graduate and Medical Students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Early-Career Faculty in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Proceedings of a Workshop

On December 7 and 8, 2020, the Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a virtual workshop that examined how to strengthen mentoring and advising of Black students and professionals in …[more]

Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Students’ Experiences During COVID-19: Proceedings of a Virtual Workshop Series

Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Students’ Experiences During COVID-19: Proceedings of a Virtual Workshop Series

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. From that moment, leaders of institutions of higher education have had to make quick decisions about how to provide high-quality educational experiences for their students while protecting the health of …[more]

Educational Pathways for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Exploring Barriers and Possible Interventions: Proceedings of a Workshop

Educational Pathways for Black Students in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Exploring Barriers and Possible Interventions: Proceedings of a Workshop

Academic preparation is critical to increase Black representation in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, but so, too, are such interrelated factors as providing mentoring and role models in sufficient numbers, adequately funding school and community support services, and analyzing the …[more]

Effective Mentoring in STEMM: Practice, Research, and Future Directions: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Effective Mentoring in STEMM: Practice, Research, and Future Directions: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

Mentoring has long been understood as a beneficial component of academic and professional development. But investigations of the attributes of effective mentoring interactions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical (STEMM) education are only now starting to shed light on …[more]

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students' Diverse Pathways

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways

Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the barriers to students realizing their ambitions are reflected in the fact that about half of those …[more]

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited builds on the 2000 report Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. That ground-breaking report assessed the postdoctoral experience and provided principles, action points, and recommendations to enhance that …[more]

Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering

Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering

This guide offers helpful advice on how teachers, administrators, and career advisers in science and engineering can become better mentors to their students. It starts with the premise that a successful mentor guides students in a variety of ways: by helping them get the most from their …[more]